Thought­ful teens help par­ents

The Bay Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - BAYLEY MOOR

Chang­ing ta­bles have been in­stalled at a Kerik­eri pub­lic toi­let thanks to two Spring­bank School stu­dents.

Max Stovell, 13, and Naa­man Boxer, 14, were proud to see change ta­bles in­stalled in both the women’s and men’s Far North Dis­trict Coun­cil toi­lets on Cob­ham Rd in Novem­ber.

The work to get the fa­cil­i­ties started in Fe­bru­ary as part of their Year 9 en­ter­prise class where the stu­dents were tasked with work­ing on a project to ben­e­fit the com­mu­nity.

Max was in­spired af­ter see­ing his mother Emma un­able to change his two-year-old sis­ter Lake at the pub­lic toi­lets.

‘‘We started plan­ning how we could start the project, so we did a busi­ness plan and did a sur­vey to see if we would get com­mu­nity ap­proval,’’ Max says.

‘‘It’s cool to see it fin­ished, it was a lot of work,’’ he says.

The boys ap­proached 100 par­ents and grand­par­ents over sev­eral week­ends at lo­cal mar­kets with a sur­vey to gauge whether the com­mu­nity needed a pub­lic place to change nap­pies in Kerik­eri - over 95 per cent said they would like the fa­cil­i­ties.

From there the pair ap­proached lo­cal busi­nesses who spon­sored raf­fle prizes, with an even­tual $392 raised, from the raf­fle among other dona­tions.

Then the boys shared a 600-word speech at a Bay of Is­lands-Whangaroa Com­mu­nity Board meet­ing, af­ter which the coun­cil agreed to in­stall new change ta­bles and pay the re­main­ing $582 for the $974 project from the coun­cil’s re­pairs and main­te­nance fund.

The boys said it was im­por­tant that change ta­bles were in­stalled in both the men’s and women’s toi­lets.

Max’s mother Emma says she is proud of the boy’s ef­forts.

‘‘They have done it all them­selves - con­tacted spon­sors, sold raf­fle tick­ets - I’m in­cred­i­bly proud,’’ Emma says.

‘‘Most par­ents will be ap­pre­cia­tive, there are not many places you can change so most par­ents have to change their kids in the car.’’

Coun­cil se­nior tech­ni­cal of­fi­cer Mike Cole­brook says the coun­cil ap­pre­ci­ated the boys’ idea.

‘‘Th­ese young fel­las have come up with a mod­ern idea.’’

Where pos­si­ble and if funds al­low the coun­cil would look to in­stall change ta­bles at other pub­lic toi­lets, Cole­brook says.

Naa­man Boxer and Max Stovell have suc­cess­fully or­gan­ised for the in­stal­la­tion of chang­ing ta­bles in Kerik­eri.

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